No matter the job, chances are that employers will use the internet to find out more information about an applicant. Therefore, a digital presence is arguably the most vital element to students as they look for jobs. Students need to start thinking and strategizing about their audience and ultimately learn how to use different social media platforms to convey who they are. Furthermore, with many of today's jobs involving some sort of digital skills, educators need to provide students with the terminology and skills they will need to thrive.
New Tech High wanted to transform e-portfolio work as they recognized that traditional methods of uploading work online did not create an authentic audience. As a result, educators decided to work in collaboration with their students to redesign the program. The result was a blogging and e-portfolio hybrid. Three main components to the program were formed:
1. Document your process
2. Teach others what you know
3. Connect with the outside world and network
By moving beyond the boundaries of the classroom, students interact with online communities and make real-world connections that can lead to internships and employment. Students use social media to interact with experts and build a digital presence through blogging. Students add to their blogs using writing prompts provided by teachers anywhere from 2 to 15 times a month.
Students have the ability to promote their content via social media, or if they wish to minimize their digital footprint, they learn how to safely set their privacy settings. This provides an opportunity for everyone to become involved in the project.